Alfred Hitchcock (UK, 1899-1980) is undeniably theworld's most famous film director. His name hasbecome synonymous with the cinema, and eachnew generation takes the same pleasure in rediscoveringhis films, which are now treasures ofour artistic heritage. Hitchcock started out in theBritish silent cinema of the 1920s, which reachedits peak with successful thrillers such as The ManWho Knew Too Much (1934), Sabotage (1936)and The Lady Vanishes (1938). Recognized as a`young genius', Hitchcock moved to Hollywoodand set about reinventing cinematic tradition,combining the modern with the classic in filmssuch as Vertigo (1957), North by Northwest (1959)and The Birds (1963). Hitchcock gave talentedactors such as James Stewart and Cary Grantthe chance to play enduring antiheroes andimprinted the public imagination with the mythof the `blonde', as embodied by Grace Kelly, KimNovak and Tippi Hedren.